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Israel advances 1,500 settlement housing units

JERUSALEM — Israel’s housing ministry said Thursday it was advancing plans for nearly 1,500 new settlement housing units in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in response to the formation of a Palestinian unity government backed by the Islamic militant group Hamas.

Taliban video shows handover of U.S. soldier

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban released a video today showing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl being handed over to U.S. forces and bundled into a helicopter in eastern Afghanistan, touting the swap of the abducted American soldier for five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo as a significant achievement for the insurgents.

Obama meets with new Ukraine leader

WARSAW, Poland — Sitting down with Ukraine’s new leader, President Barack Obama said Ukraine can become a vibrant, thriving democracy if the world community stands behind it. He pledged the United States would provide new support as Ukraine’s fragile government seeks a path out of crisis.

Security tight on eve of Tiananmen anniversary

BEIJING — Beijing put additional police on the streets and detained government critics Tuesday as part of a security crackdown on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the crushing of pro-democracy protests centered on the capital’s Tiananmen Square.
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Two police officers fired for not acting in India rape case

LUCKNOW, India — Facing relentless media attention and growing criticism for a series of rapes, state officials in north India fired two police officers today for failing to investigate the disappearance of two teenage cousins, who were gang-raped and later found hanging from a tree.

Pakistan arrests 4 suspects in woman’s stoning

ISLAMABAD — Pakistani police say they have arrested four more people in connection with the killing of a woman who was beaten and stoned to death by her family for marrying without their permission.

China detains another activist before anniversary

BEIJING — Chinese authorities detained another activist amid increasingly intense efforts to suppress commemorations of next week’s 25th anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, his lawyers said today.

Ukraine military helicopter down; at least 12 dead

SLOVYANSK, Ukraine — Rebels in eastern Ukraine shot down a government military helicopter today amid heavy fighting around Slovyansk, killing at least 12 soldiers including a general, officials said.

El-Sissi wins presidential election by landslide

CAIRO — With nearly all ballots counted, Egypt’s former military chief has won a crushing victory over his sole opponent in the country’s presidential election, his campaign said today. But the results were stained by questions about turnout despite a robust government effort to get out the vote.

Missing Malaysia jet not in search area, officials say

BEIJING — The case of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 became ever more mysterious today as Australia claimed that the missing airliner is not in the more than 300-square-mile patch of ocean where authorities have been searching since early April.

China detains journalist ahead of anniversary

BEIJING, China — Beijing police have detained a Chinese news assistant for a Japanese newspaper in the latest in a string of detentions ahead of the 25th anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square.

Syrian voters scuffle with Lebanese troops

YARZE, Lebanon — Hundreds of Syrians desperate to vote for President Bashar Assad tried to rush their embassy near Beirut on Wednesday, scuffling with Lebanese troops using batons and sticks to beat them back as voting abroad started ahead of Syria’s June 3 national election.

Ukraine: Hundreds of militants pour in from Russia

DONETSK, Ukraine — The Ukrainian army said Tuesday that it had evicted armed separatists from the international airport in Donetsk after a 24-hour gun battle, but the government in Kiev warned of a new threat as truckloads of armed Russian volunteers reportedly crossed the border.
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Dozens killed in Ukraine fighting

High-caliber weapons fire echoed sporadically today through the eastern city of Donetsk and the mayor urged residents to stay home a day after fighting between Ukrainian troops and separatist rebels reportedly killed dozens.

Chemical weapons inspectors attacked in Syria

DAMASCUS, Syria — A convoy of chemical weapons inspectors came under attack today while traveling to the site of a suspected chlorine gas attack in Syria, but all staff members were safe, the international watchdog agency said.

Abducted girls found but military can’t go in with force

ABUJA, Nigeria — Nigeria’s military has located nearly 300 school girls abducted by Islamic extremists but fears using force to try to free them could get them killed, the country’s chief of defense said Monday.
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Thailand military holds top leaders after coup

BANGKOK — Ousted members of Thailand’s former government turned themselves in to the country’s new military junta today, as soldiers forcefully dispersed hundreds of anti-coup activists who defied a ban on large-scale gatherings to protest the army’s seizure of power.
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80 U.S. troops search for missing girls

NAIROBI, Kenya — Eighty U.S. Air Force personnel have arrived in Chad and have begun their mission to help locate nearly 300 schoolgirls kidnapped in neighboring Nigeria, a U.S. military spokesman said today.